Despite the concerns many have for Europe this year, many have looked beyond the trouble to rediscover its stunning beauty. With this in mind, I highly recommend a river cruising as a travel consultant because it’s safe, luxurious, and a fantastic way to explore the continent.

Each year, river cruise lines add more vessels to their fleet and this means we have more opportunity to discover the world (and at affordable prices too!). With the latest models, they’re eco-friendly, they offer huge staterooms, and this is all finished with elegant interiors. Of course, the largest benefit of all though is the opportunity to dock in the heart of major European cities. Rather than cruising in the ocean, surrounded by water, river cruises offer an ever-changing landscape from the balcony and the many stops allow you to explore the culture of different cities within minutes.

Wine River Cruises in Europe

In 2018, AMA Waterways will have a heavy emphasis on wine-themed river cruises with over 50 on offer in Europe. Whether you want to cruise along the historical wine regions of Austria and Germany or travel towards France and Portugal, the choice is yours. What’s more, these wine cruises come with a packed itinerary which means you won’t waste a second of your time or money. After visiting private wine cellars, local vineyards, and learning from the experts, you’ll go back home full of memories and knowledge.

Culinary Experiences

What better way to learn the culture of a city and country than through its food? With a culinary river cruise, you can receive cooking demonstrations from local chefs while also visiting food markets to see where the magic happens; let’s not forget the sublime wine pairings that also go with each dish.

Chef preparing appetizers on river cruiseWith ‘A Taste of France’ from Tauck River, for example, your trip will begin with a guided tour of Paris with food as the main theme. After this, you can enjoy a hands-on introduction to French sauces at the superb Alain Ducasse culinary school ‘Ecole de Cuisine’. Elsewhere, those with a sweet tooth will enjoy ‘The Joy of Chocolate’ which includes workshops, blind tastings, and more. Led by the author of ‘The Chocolate Connoisseur’, Chloe Doutre-Roussel, the trip will teach the Parisian way of life while travelling through the old haunts of chef Julia Child.

Land Touring

Sienna square

If you like to keep your feet on solid ground when in Europe, this is just as achievable because Tauck Tours has extensive experience in this niche; in fact, this now amounts to over 75 years. Rather than looking at the major sights alone, you get to experience these as well as the lesser-known gems the guide books don’t know. With the Tauck directors, they have experience in giving tours but they also have passion for what they do. From start to finish, they’ll stay with you to ensure you remain safe and learn along the way. With the ‘freedom of choice’ option, you can also eat from the restaurant of your choosing.

If we’ve piqued your interest with any of these ideas, feel free to get in touch with one of our expert advisors today. If you aren’t sure where to start in Europe, allow me to help you build your dream vacation; I would love to hear from you!

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